Friday, November 16, 2007

Matthew Smith: The Politics of Doing Business With A Brutal Regime

Source: Bangkok Post via Burmanet

First, Burma has resources everyone wants. Financial incentives created by the rising cost of oil and regional energy demands have so far trumped ethical challenges to the corporations, even amidst nationwide manhunts, the killing of pro-democracy protesters, and direct human rights and environmental impact from previous natural gas projects. There’s money to be made and economies to expand, notably those of India, China and Thailand, Burma’s largest trading partners.

Second, most corporations prioritise one legal duty above all others, and that is to maximise profit for their shareholders. If backing a murderous junta is profitable, then corporations like Daewoo and Chevron will do this in service to their bottom line.

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